California calls for more green cars

Jan. 28, 2012 at 12:57 PM
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SACRAMENTO, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- California lawmakers approved rules to cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars and increase the number of so-called green vehicles on the road in coming years.

The measures approved by California's Air Resources Board Friday would require automakers to offer more zero- or very low-emission cars, such as battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, in California starting with model year 2018, the Los Angeles Times reported.

By 2025, the board said one in seven new vehicles sold in California, or roughly 1.4 million, must be ultra-clean.

"Today's vote ... represents a new chapter for clean cars in California and in the nation as a whole," said Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary Nichols.

Nichols said she has seen "a real change in attitudes on the part of auto companies that have seen the handwriting on the wall. The reality is that companies see the future is going to be in electric drive-train vehicles. They're moving there as fast they can."

Auto manufacturers, however, as still concerned as to whether customers will buy ultra-clean cars.

"Automakers are mandated to build products that consumers are not mandated to buy," said Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which includes Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. "If the electric vehicle infrastructure is not in place, consumers may be reluctant to buy these technologies."

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